Thursday, September 20, 2007

2007-2008 NHL Predictions

Sept 27th Update: Quick Note to Readers
Recently this specific post has been seeing a lot of traffic from readers searching for NHL predictions for the '07-'08 season. I wrote this post mainly for myself because I wanted to take a shot at making predictions. I'm nothing more than an avid LA Kings fan but I did try to kick my emotions to the side in an effort to make objective predictions. If you're curious to know more about the person behind this post, feel free to read my "Hockey's Ladies of Greatness (HLOG) Q&A". Feel free to leave your predictions (or good or bad criticism) in the comments or send me an email at pc[dot]velvet[at]gmail[dot]com if you would like me to link to your blog or website. Happy Hockey Season!

Last year I wrote a post about my predictions for each conference. The only reason I wrote it was to prove to the BF that making predictions before the season starts it ludicrous. I doubt I proved anything but my lack of ability to correctly predict the outcome of the season. Before the '06-'07 season began I was filled with rage because every hockey analyst had his head stuck so far up Anaheim's ass and all they could talk about was the Ducks winning the Cup. I wanted the Ducks to prove everyone wrong and they even told Detroit they were giving them the series but Detroit kept insisting they have enough Cups and that they no longer wanted to play. Detroit even proved their point by sending Liljas out on the ice who coughed up the puck to Selanne. "Utter bullshit!!" I yelled at the TV. "Isn't it obvious that Detroit is throwing the game!!" I tried to argue with no one else in the room. And then along came Ottawa. I thought for sure they would want to win the Cup. But for some reason they threw that series, too! I'm convinced that the entire hockey community was in on the secret; everyone had set bets at the beginning of the season, betting that Anaheim would win the Cup. With Niedermayer and Pronger to provide great defense, and Selanne and Giguere at the top of their games, the Ducks seemed like an easy pick at the beginning of the season and everyone wanted to reap the benefits. "But not this year!!!" I proclaim. A conspiracy can't possibly be successfully executed two years in a row, right??

Despite the loss of Pennersquee, Pahlsson's hernia surgery, Giguere's surgery, and the possible retirement of Selanne and Niedermeyer, Anaheim still seems to be the frontrunner in the minds of hockey analysts. But I think things will be much different this season. I don't think that any team has garnered much attention in the off-season to already be declared the 2008 Cup Champions. So who do I think will win the Cup this season?

For no real reason other than a gut feeling, Calgary is at the top of my list. I also like Carolina. It's like these teams speak to me and I have to listen. (Did anyone watch the Property Ladder or Flip This House episode where the Jamaican lady was flipping a house for the first time so that she could quit her desk job and pursue her dream to become a healer? She kept saying the house was speaking to her so she made all these stupid, unnecessary, and outlandish changes to the house that did nothing but put her in debt. That episode was awesome!) Carolina may seem like crazy pick but I think the team will bounce back from their disappointing season as defending Cup champions.

I also think that Pittsburgh has a good young team but goaltending could be their weakest position. Vancouver seems fairly solid, especially with Luongo bringing up the D. San Jose also seems like a solid team but they'll have to fight the JR curse. Also, I would just die if another California team won the Cup before the Kings. I really wanted to give explanations for why I placed teams to finish in certain positions but I just haven't had the energy to do the research and coherently explain my reasons. Alas, you're stuck with just lists and a couple sentences. Call me a retard, an idiot, or a dreamer. Whatever. I figure I should actually do a good job at the job I get paid to do and, therefore, my blog doesn't get nearly enough attention that I should give it.

Here are my predictions for how each team will rank at the end of the regular season within their respective Divisions and which teams I think will qualify for the playoffs.

Western Conference Predictions
1. Calgary
2. Vancouver
3. Colorado
4. Minnesota
5. Edmonton

1. Detroit
2. St. Louis
3. Chicago
4. Nashville
5. Columbus

1. San Jose
2. Anaheim
3. Dallas
4. Los Angeles
5. Phoenix

Playoff Qualifiers (in no particular order):
St. Louis
San Jose

Eastern Conference Predictions
1.NY Rangers
2. Pittsburgh
3. New Jersey
4. Philadelphia
5. NY Islanders

1. Ottawa
2. Toronto
3. Buffalo
4. Boston
5. Montreal

1. Carolina
2. Tampa Bay
3. Atlanta
4. Washington
5. Florida

Playoff Qualifiers (in no particular order):
Tampa Bay
NY Rangers
New Jersey

Stanley Cup Finals:
Calgary Flames v. Carolina Hurricanes

2008 Cup Champions:
Calgary Flames

It pains me to leave the Kings off the playoff qualifying list but I just don't see Anaheim, San Jose, or Dallas sucking as bad as the Kings. I think it's fair to say that Edmonton will be the bottom feeders of the West. Like I said earlier, I like Calgary's team a lot. Once again, I apologize for my lack of explanations for why I picked these teams, but do your best to guess why I picked them.

What are your predictions?


Silencer76 said...

A dark horse team that I wouldn't count out to make some noise this year will be the Florida Panthers, as much as I hate to promote a team from the south.

With Vokoun manning the pipes now, and Bouwmeester leading the blue line, Jokinen, Weiss, Horton, etc, the Panthers could easily make up the points they missed out last year with subpar goaltending from Alex Auld when they decided not to play Belfour.

I'm not sold on Calgary or Carolina...Calgary hasn't shown much the last couple years, and Carolina looked like a bunch of flakes at key points last season.

I will try to get a bit of a preview up on my site in the next couple days.

All I can say is I am glad hockey is means I can wash the bitter taste of missing the playoffs on a shootout (thanks a lot New Jersey, you bunch of retards) and focus on this year.

KMS2 said...

One of the reasons I didn't pick San Jose in the West is because of the habit they have of crapping all over themselves during the playoffs. And without Toskala to help out Nabokov during the season and playoffs, I'm not convinced they'll break their habit. I thought Calgary did ok during the playoffs but definitely had their meltdown, but hopefully they'll learn from their mistake. I don't know what the hell happened to Carolina last year and their season was quite embarrassing. However, I think they'll bounce back. You did make a good point about Florida. I sort of wrote them off without really thinking about them...damnit! ;)

Kirsten said...

Damnit, everyone is ranking the Wild 4th in our division! I hope Calgary self destructs this season because of Keenan. Then we'd have a shot at the 7th or 8th spot.

KMS2 said...

Sorry, Kirsten. That division has a lot of good teams in it so it'll be tough for all of them. I keep hoping that Dallas will crap the bed so the Kings will have a shot. But with all of the Ducks' injuries and undecided retirements....maybe there's a chance...

CKim said...

For the Stanley Cup finals I'm gonna go with:

Ottawa Sens vs. anyone but the Sharks

Ray Dubé said...

It's funny now to look back and see where the predictions were, I've surfed a few sites for my own amusement, it's nice to see so many got it wrong.

Yes, it's surprising that Montreal is in the #1 spot, but for all of those who said they wouldn't make it, I have to laugh, those with the heart, knew they wouldn't miss the playoffs two years in a row. Never would of happened

But interesting to see the comments from the beginning.

Now... Let's hoist up that 25th cup banner high!